Position Paper on
the release of contaminated water in Fukushima
Suggesting open discussion from Korean scientists to IAEA Secretary-General Rafael Grossi
Japan is trying to discharge 1.37 million tons of radioactive contaminated water into the sea stored in over 1,000 tanks after the Fukushima nuclear accident. This is unprecedented in the history of nuclear power plants, increasing the pollution of existing nuclear-contaminated seas. In addition, there is no international safety standards allowing for additional emissions to the nuclear accident area. However, the IAEA report, which was conducted with money at the request of Japan by forcibly applying the safety standards for operating nuclear power plants, cannot be trusted. Therefore, we scientists urge Japan to immediately stop the plan to discharge contaminated water from Fukushima and carry out a follow-up international impact assessment, taking into account the concerns of stakeholders and neighboring countries. And we propose an open discussion for an objective evaluation of the IAEA final report.
○ Issues with IAEA’s (International Atomic Energy Agency) review of Japan's plan to dump Fukushima contaminated water into sea
+ The total amount of radioactivity released before and after the Fukushima accident has not been assessed.
- Since the accident, the total amount of radioactivity discharged into groundwater and rivers has not yet been evaluated.
- An environmental ecological impact assessment should be conducted based on the total amount of radioactivity emitted and to be emitted in the future.
+ The radiological impact on the ecosystem is underestimated.
- Ecosystem impact assessment due to radioactive contamination accumulated from previous major accidents should be conducted, but only the environmental impact assessment according to the currently planned discharge of contaminated water is performed
- Long term impacts on the ecosystem and food chains are neither considered nor assessed.
+ There is no system to objectively verify the marine discharge process of nuclear waste.
- TEPCO(Tokyo Electric Power Company) and NRA(Nuclear Regulation Authority) organization and manpower: NRA cross-verification of TEPCO's samples or major results is structurally impossible.
- Verification of contaminated water by IAEA's partial self-sampling: It is just superficial, neither verifying the nuclide in the contaminated water tank nor verifying it when discharged.
○ The Japanese government's dumping of contaminated water into the ocean is an international criminal act that destroys the environment.
+ The approval of dumping at sea according to this is an international environmental destruction criminal act, which is an important precedent for triggering global pollution in the future.
+ Saying that discharge through a tunnel is not dumping at sea is blindfolded.
- Japan is passing on distorted information to the international community for its own benefit.
+ The dangerous Fukushima seawater appears to be abandoned.
- Korium (molten nuclear fuel) penetrates the floor of the reactor building and goes down to the ground, and is polluting the sea by meeting with groundwater and interacting with seawater.
- Corium is still undergoing nuclear fission, continuously producing radioactive materials.
- Even now, the river washed by the rain and polluted continues to pollute the sea.
- Since Japan built a frozen earth wall (an underground ice wall installed around the nuclear power plant up to 10m depth underground), no efforts have been made to consider an appropriate solution to reduce underground water contamination.
+ Considering the seriousness of groundwater contamination, a sense of responsibility to reduce continuous radioactive contamination is required.
- Japan is unable to solve the Fukushima nuclear power plant and environmental problems on its own
- Therefore, Japan should give up the arrogance of solving all problems on its own and seek international cooperation.
- The act of dumping contaminated water into the open seas is an extreme form of moral hazard.
○ Our demands
+ IAEA Secretary-General Rafael Grossi, together with the eleven members of the IAEA expert delegation, must immediately accept our call for open expert discussions.
+ We demand an open expert discussion, free of time and format, to examine whether the IAEA’s safety claims are being met.
+ The mission of the IAEA T/F does not include long-term environmental and ecological assessments, including assessments of damage to neighboring countries; therefore, follow-up assessments led by neighboring countries should be conducted and the discharge of contaminated water should be postponed until the second assessment is completed. ■
Scientist Group for Concerning Nuclear & Energy’s Safety and Environment,
Nuclear Safety and Future, Citizenpress The-Tamsa